Quick Survival Guide

  • Life's a Pitch
  • K.B.O.
  • Pause, Relax, Breathe
  • Use the Force - Structure and Rhetoric
  • Follow the Q&A process
  • Use strong, emotive but simple langage
  • People with gravitas control space and time

Daily Exercises - K.B.O.

Winston Churchill coined the phrase "Keep Buggering On" or KBO. He never gave up and was always striving for self improvement.

Maintain and improve your professional communications and influencing skills by practising Extreme Presentation Skills. Apply these to each and every daily conversation, meeting, or pitch.

Whenever you need to persuade or influence a client, colleague or manager, treat it as a pitch.

Remember this phrase PReP which stands for:

Physical / Vocal Warm-ups. See this clip.

Rhetoric. Use rhetoric: List of 3, Repetition, Contrasts, Rhetorical Questions and Visionary/Story. See this document.

Pause to give your listener a chance to take in what you've just said. In the pause, collect yourself and breathe. Listen to Hoffnung and the Builder's Letter.

Preparing For and Delivering a Pitch

Like a well taken penalty, a pitch needs meticulous preparation and faultless execution.

Listeners have short Attention Span. You have to work hard to retain their interest.

Structure. Prepare your pitch using the outline given during the training.

  • Impactful Opening - with rhetoric (default: tell a Story).
  • Credibility Statement (optional).
  • Details.
  • Impactful Close with Call to Action/Ask for Business (default: List of 3).

 Visual Aids. Prepare these carefully and use them wisely.

  • Avoid pointless charts.
  • Minimise the number of charts - less is more.
  • Minimise the time that slides are on.
  • Control where people look.
  • In PowerPoint, turn slides on and off, using the 'b' key.
  • With paper charts/handouts, hold them up and then put them down.
  • Work both sides of the screen and engage with the slide.
  • In round-table sessions, stand up, if necessary, so that everyone can see the handout.
  • Point to the relevant part of the chart for all to see, especially on 'busy' charts/slides.
  • Avoid clickers, clip art, fancy fonts, charts produced by other people, eg Marketing.
  • Avoid wordy charts, or bullet points that are simply speaker notes.

Voice and Body.  Stay in control of your body, relax and breathe. Vary your volume, pace and pitch. Clear diction does not mean trying to sound 'posh'.

Before an important pitch, always do this Physical and Vocal Warm-up.

Handling Tough Questions

Be prepared Powell

To manage tough questions you must remain firmly in control of the Q&A process.

Good preparation is vital.

Forearmed Cervantes

Preparation. You know the questions to expect, as you have probably come across them before. Work up detailed answers beforehand, with alternative wordings. This will give you confidence, and you won't forget significant detail.

In relation to your argument, the tougher the question, the greater is the preparation needed.

Answering. Don't be tempted to jump in and answer a question, especially before the questioner has finished speaking! Follow this 5 step process:

  1. Stop! Do you really understand the question?
  2. Paraphrase.
  3. Buffer.
  4. Answer (optionally short answer followed by long answer).
  5. Topspin.

Use rhetorical and vocal techniques during Q&A.

See this template.

Motivating and Inspiring


Motivational speaking is about emotions, not logic.

Emotive Language Avoid bland 'corporate speak'. Instead, use strong imagery, and words with high emotional content. 

See how Martin Luther King does it.

Emotional Journey A great way to influence emotions is through a story. All good stories take you through an emotional roller-coaster.

Prepare beforehand. Refer to the course training materials. See the download on Motivational and Inspirational Speaking



People with gravitas control space and time around them.

  • Control your breathing and remain calm.
  • Take your time, don't rush your speaking or movements.
  • Pause and vary the volume, pitch and pace. Don't become monotonous or syllabic.
  • Stay still. Move with purpose.
  • Don't jiggle, don't fiddle with items.
  • Really listen carefully to others.
  • Keep your message and language simple, clear and brief.
  • Use the presentation structure and rhetoric.
  • If you disagree, say so. Avoid obsequiousness - it will diminish you.
  • Watch others, learn and emulate them.

The techniques are all covered in the Extreme Presentation Skills courses.